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Diabetes & Breastfeeding

I mentioned in an earlier post that when you are diabetic, it takes longer for your milk to come in. Turns out, it’s not just your milk coming in, but milk production in general tends to be lower when the mother has Type 2 diabetes. (I am unsure of Type 1 as I have only researched Type 2.)

With Luke I had no trouble whatsoever- in fact I had a 4 month stock in the freezer. Reagan I noticed I didn’t produce as much as with Luke, but I chalked it up to different babies with different needs. Now though, now I really see the difference. I went back to work with a day stashed in the freezer. Talk about pressure. If she ate that and I didn’t pump AT LEAST the same amount, I would have to supplement again.

I know there is nothing wrong with and I am not a failure if I have to supplement. In my head though I was thinking that I have nursed 2 other babies for at least a year and now I’m afraid I will only make it 4 months.

We can get into why this might be happening in another post, but I want to tell you what has been working for me. I looked everywhere on the internet for suggestions on how to boost my supply while keeping my numbers in range. Turns out there is not a lot out there specifically for diabetic mothers – so if what works for me can help one other woman fill her dream of breastfeeding until a year old, I’m happy to share!

1. Water

I drink a TON of water. I drink a measured 48 oz but that does not include any sparkling water or tea and usually I go over the 48 oz of plain water as well.

2. Nursing Support Tea

I use this and the Traditional Medicine brand. The lactation consultant I spoke with mentioned that mint could cause me to produce less, and so lately I have been sticking with the Yogi brand. I definitely notice a difference.

3. Making Sure I Am Eating Enough

True story – breastfeeding is hard work! I was also noticing that even though I was eating all the right things, my fasting number was still high. So I decided to try something a little scary if you are diabetic and in good control with the diet you have finally figured out – I decided to add more carbs. Turns out my body needed more carbs. My fasting number (for the most part) came down and I wasn’t as hungry.

4. Adding Extra Pumps

I pump 3 times while at work (once is over lunch) and then after Quinn goes to bed but before I do, I pump again. We also worked in an extra feed before I leave. Anything to convince my body that baby needs more food.

5. Oatmeal

Tried and true. I have to keep it at the serving size of half a cup (I would eat at least a cup a day with Luke) but it does seem to help!

I thought this list was a good start. Hopefully you can implement some of these to help you if you are struggling with diabetes and breastfeeding. Just relax, give yourself a break and realize that what you are trying to do is challenging – more challenging than just breastfeeding by itself. If you also have any suggestions or ways that you boosted your supply I would love to hear them! We can cover more in the next post.

Until then, nothing but love friends,

Kate

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